Rapporto denuncia il continuo uso del lavoro forzato dei Laogai per l’export cinese

Un rapporto della Laogai Research Foundation di Washington rivela che che la Cina continua a produrre merci e prodotti per l’esportazione, dal lavoro forzato dei Laogai. Il rapporto denuncia che almeno 120 imprese Laogai pubblicizzano i loro prodotti sul web. Gli annunci, spesso colleagati al Ministero del Commercio Cinese, rappresentano la conferma di un redditizio commercio di esportazione di manufatti dei Laogai. Segue il comunicato in inglese della Deutsche Presse Agentur del 4 febbario 2010.

Beijing – China is still marketing for export products made by forced labour in prisons, nearly 20 years after such exports were first exposed, the US-based Laogai Research Foundation said on Thursday.
A survey by the foundation found 120 English-language online advertisements marketing enterprises with known connections to China’s penal system.
The advertisements, many of them on websites linked to the Ministry of Commerce, are ‘an indication of a profitable export economy’ from China’s prison system, said the report, titled Not for sale: Advertising forced-labour products for illegal export.
‘Having found over 120 English-language entries for laogai enterprises on the Internet, this report concludes that laogai products are actively being promoted and sold to international customers, including customers in the US,’ said Harry Wu, the founder of the Laogai Research Foundation.
‘This is in violation of Chinese law, US law, and international agreements between China and the US,’ he said.
The foundation is named after China’s huge laogai (reform through labour) camps that were set up in the 1950s by the ruling Communist Party to house political prisoners alongside convicted criminals.
Wu left China for the United States following his release in 1979 after 19 years in labour camps and prisons.
But in the early 1990s, he returned to China to document the labour camps and bring evidence of forced-labour products for export to international attention.
‘Sadly, though not unexpectedly, increased exposure of the laogai system has led to further secrecy and evasion by the Chinese government,’ Wu said Thursday.
The Chinese government ‘actively promotes the trade of laogai products, illegal under Chinese export regulations, through listings on China Commodity Net, a Chinese-government sponsored website,’ he said.
An employee at one enterprise listed in the report, the Dingjian Commerce and Trade Company in the south-western city of Chongqing, confirmed to the German Press Agency dpa by telephone that her company used prison labour.
‘We are the management side and we provide the workplace for them,’ the woman said when asked about the company’s link with a prison in Chongqing’s Changtan town.
The woman, who declined to give her name but said she worked in Dingjian’s production department, said the company employs nearly 1,000 workers.
She declined to give details of any exports or the company’s main product, which is listed as jewellery by an official website.
Asked about quality guarantees for the products, she said buyers would normally ‘send technical people to our factory.’
The foundation’s report said production ‘for both domestic and international consumption is the central economic function driving China’s laogai system.’
‘To facilitate the sale of laogai products abroad, prisons often have two names,’ it said.
A photograph from the southern province of Guangdong, dated June 2009 and posted on the website of the provincial justice department on Thursday, showed a doorway with a name-plate on the left for the Guangdong Xiangda Enterprise Company and another on the right for the Guangdong Huaiji Prison.
The foundation said some 4,000 people were detained at the Huaiji Prison, which assembles machinery and household electrical products, including microwave ovens and engine parts.
It estimated that between three and five million people are currently detained in Chinese prisons and labour camps, but said it had no estimates for the total production value of the prisons.
‘As China regards all statistics related to the laogai as state secrets, it is extremely difficult to trace laogai products,’ the report said.

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